Alderson: Flores at shortstop not dead?

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
11:20
AM ET
Say what?

The Mets abandoned using Wilmer Flores at shortstop after the 2011 season in the minors because of a lack of lateral mobility.

But Sandy Alderson tells MLB.com that Flores might get a look back at his natural position this spring training. After spending time at a nutrition and agility camp near Ann Arbor, Mich., this offseason, Alderson apparently wants to see if Flores has picked up any range. (He'll need to pick up a lot to convince scouts he could handle shortstop, even in a backup role.)

“I don’t want to place too much stock on four weeks of conditioning, but this is a guy who’s never really had the opportunity to develop himself physically the way players here in the United States do, who have a season and then an offseason,” Alderson told the web site. “He’s never had an offseason. He’s always played. So this is a different type of offseason for him -- one in which he’s been able to invest in his career. We’ll see how it pays off for him.

“I wouldn’t say [Flores to shortstop] is dead. I think that one of the things we want to see is how well he has done with his training regimen in Michigan. Before this offseason, I’m not sure he ever had any sort of structured, regimented conditioning program. The work that they have done on speed and agility and quickness, etc., may have an impact on his ability to play certain positions -- including second base and conceivably even shortstop. But right now, that’s all speculation.”

Flores last played shortstop in 2011 with Class A St. Lucie.

If he makes the team, he likely either needs to beat out Omar Quintanilla, Wilfredo Tovar and Anthony Seratelli as a backup shortstop or beat out Josh Satin to back up the corner infield spots.

The best bet: Flores opens the season at Triple-A Las Vegas ... not seeing time at shortstop.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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